OKLAHOMA CITY —
“I felt really good about this session,” Fallin said. “We got our priorities done this year. We proposed different things in our budget that I was very pleased that we were able to get funding for.”
Fallin praised the Legislature’s passage of a major overhaul of the state’s workers’ compensation system, saying the conversion from a court system to an administrative one will benefit businesses by lowering workers’ compensation insurance premiums, but Democrats and those who represent injured workers argue those savings will come at the expense of employees injured on the job.
But not all of Fallin’s proposals came to fruition. A proposal she supported to allow cities and towns to enact stricter smoking bans than currently exist in state law was shot down early in the session, prompting Fallin to announce plans to spearhead a signature drive to circumvent the Legislature and place an anti-smoking initiative on the ballot.
Fallin also expressed disappointment that a plan to consolidate the administrative operations of the state’s pension systems failed to get traction in the waning days of the Legislature.
Democrats complained that while the 2013 session was a good one for some businesses and wealthy individuals, there wasn’t much to benefit the average working Oklahoman. The Legislature’s failure to approve pay hikes for teachers and other state workers, while at the same time passing tax cuts that disproportionately benefit wealthy taxpayers, was a disappointment, said House Democratic Leader Rep. Scott Inman
“There are major losers in this legislative session,” said Inman, D-Del City.